Luis Enrique’s team show strength at the Al-Thumama Stadium: a brace from Torres and goals from Olmo, Asensio, Gavi, Soler and Morata decide
There Spain enchant and start i World Cup 2022 great. After the sensational defeat of Germany, in the first round of Group E the Red Furies overwhelm Costa Rica 7-0 and reach the Japan at the top of the ranking. At Al-Thumama Stadium great showdown of Luis Enrique’s teamwho in the first half only needed half an hour to file the practice by scoring with Daniel Olmo (11′), Asensio (21′) and Torres (31′). In the second half then “La Roja” spreads thanks again to Torres (54′), Gavi (74′), Soler (90′) and Morata (ninety two’).
Spain starts with a bang in Qatar and responds to France’s poker with seven goals. Against Costa Rica, Luis Enrique’s band shows off the best of their repertoire by playing great football and scoring in bursts. Of course, the opponent’s level paves the way for the technique and quality of the Red Furies, but the performance remains. An important test in terms of game ideas, individual performance and the Group E standings. A perfect mix of technique and running that enhanced the talent of Pedri and Gavi in the control room and the nastiness and dynamism of sills Ferran Torres, Asensio, Dani Olmo, Soler and Morata.
At Al-Thumama Stadium the first half is a Spanish monologue and the match is played almost exclusively in the Costa Rican half. With Ferran Torres, Asensio and Dani Olmo in attack and Pedri, Busquets and Gavi in the midfield, the Red Furies dominate possession, they dribble with precision in midfield and look for depth on the outsides. The first calls came from Pedri’s vertical inventions, but Dani Olmo and Asensio were inaccurate and didn’t find the goal. Until the 10th minute, Costa Rica’s bunker held up, then Spain increased the pace and changed everything. Under pressure, Luis Enrique’s men play a maximum of two touches, find each other by heart and place three shots that indelibly mark the match. Dani Olmo took care of unlocking the match, good at controlling a pocket by Gavi and beating Keylor Navas with a touch below. Then Asensio doubled the counts on an assist from Jordi Alba and Ferran Torres signed the trio from a penalty. Three goals that annihilate Costa Rica, materialize the superiority of the Red Furies and direct the match on the Spanish tracks.
The second half opened with the entry of Waston in place of Martinez, but it was always “La Roja” who played the game by building the ball on the ground with quality, precision and speed. A left foot from Asensio goes high, then Suarez’s defense bobbles and Ferran Torres thanks by dropping poker. Goal that rounds off the result and triggers substitutions. Luis Enrique removes Torres, Pedri, Jordi Alba, Busquets and Asensio, and brings in Morata, Soler, Balde, Koke and Williams. In Costa Rica Contreras, Bennette and Borges instead give way to Zamora, Ruiz and Aguilera. Changes that shuffle the cards a bit, but that don’t change the inertia of the match. In control, the Red Furies rely on their usual dribble to manage the pace and look for Morata in depth. Tactical theme that leads to the five signed by Gavi on an assist from Alvaro. A blow that, however, does not close the accounts. In the recovery, in fact, there is space and glory also for Soler and Morata, authors of the last two seals that put an end to the goleada. Spain ramps up with Costa Rica and sends a loud and clear message to Qatar.
SPAIN-COSTA RICA 7-0
Spain (4-3-3): Unai Simon 6; Azpilicueta 6, Rodri 6, Laporte 6, Jordi Alba 7 (19′ st Balde 6); Pedri 7 (12′ st Soler 6.5), Busquets 6.5 (19′ st Koke 6), Gavi 8; Dani Olmo 7, Asensio 7 (24′ st Williams 6), Ferran Torres 7.5 (12′ st Morata 7).
Available: Sanchez, Raya, Garcia, Pau Torres, Llorente, Guillamon, Pino, Carvajal, Sarabia, Ansu Fati. All.: Louis Enrique 7.5
Costa Rica (5-4-1): Keylor Navas 5; Martinez 5 (1′ st Waston 5.5), Fuller 5, Duarte 4, Calvo 4.5, Oviedo 5 (37′ st Matarrita sv); Campbell 5.5, Borges 5 (27′ st Aguilera 5.5), Tejeda 5, Bennette 5 (16′ st Ruiz 6); Contreras 5 (16′ st Zamora 5.5).
Available: Alvarado, Sequeira, Chacon, Vargas, Venegas, G. Torres, Salas, Lopez, Wilson, Hernandez. All.: Luis Suarez 4.5
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (Emi)
Scorers: 11′ Dani Olmo (S), 21′ Asensio (S), 31′ pen. Ferran Torres (S), 8′ st Ferran Torres (S), 29′ st Gavi (S), 45′ st Soler (S), 47′ st Morata (S)
Ammonites: Bald, Campbell (C)
– For the first time in their history, Spain have won a match by seven goals in the World Cup.
– Only Pelé in 1958 (17 years, 239 days) and Manuel Rosas in 1930 (18 years, 93 days) have scored a goal younger than Gavi (18 years, 110 days) in the World Cup.
– Spain have recorded the highest ball possession (82%) for a team in a World Cup match since 1966 (for as long as this data is available for the competition).
– Spain’s victory against Costa Rica is their third World Cup victory with at least seven goals in the 21st century, after Germany-Saudi Arabia in 2002 (8-0) and Portugal-North Korea in 2010 (7-0) .
– In today’s match alone, Spain scored as many goals (seven) as in the four matches played in the 2018 World Cup.
– Ferran Torres is the third Spanish player to score twice on his World Cup debut, following José Iraragorri against Brazil in 1934 and David Villa against Ukraine in 2006.
– Luis Enrique claimed the biggest win for a Spain manager in his first World Cup match – surpassing Luis Aragonés’ 4-0 win against Ukraine in 2006.
– Keylor Navas has conceded as many goals today (seven) as in his first eight World Cup appearances combined.
– Jordi Alba provided his first assist in a World Cup aged 33 years, 247 days, only Andres Iniesta served an older assist for Spain in the competition from 1966 to the present (34 years, 45 days vs Morocco in 2018).
– Spain’s first goal, scored by Dani Olmo, was the Spaniards’ 100th in the World Cup.
– Spain started a World Cup match with two players under the age of 20 (Pedri González and Pablo Gavi) for the first time ever.
– Both Spain and Costa Rica fielded their youngest-ever players in a World Cup match, Gavi (18 years, 110 days) and Jewison Bennette (18 years, 161 days) respectively.